On 19th September 2015 undefeated Lightweights Rick Selvarajah and Marc Diakese will lock horns at the 3 Arena in Dublin, Ireland for the BAMMA Lonsdale Lightweight Title.
Both fighters hold a perfect 7-0 record and whilst Diakese will be looking to defend his title for the first time, challenger Selvarajah has no doubts that he will be returning from Dublin with an extra few pounds of gold in his suitcase.
“He is definitely going to be good tough opponent for me. But I honestly believe that he can’t take me where he wants. Most of the guys he has fought let him take them out of their comfort zone but I won’t.”
“Don’t get me wrong Diakese is an intelligent fighter and he always looks to take the fight to where he thinks he has a chance to win. But with me there is nowhere in there that he can take me and have an advantage over me. Wherever the fight goes I am more than ready to meet him head on.”
With just seven professional fights under his belt and only one previous appearance under the BAMMA banner (a split decision win against Jefferson George) some have called into question why Selvarajah is getting a Title shot. For Selvarajah the decision is fully justified.
“I am undefeated and I came into BAMMA and fought and beat someone who was highly regarded. You got to see glimpses of what I can do in that fight and I think the matchmakers know that when I fight Diakese it’s going to be a great fight.”
“There are a lot of other guys in the division who blow hot and cold. I am undefeated and there are only a few others who are and so I am sure that their time will come. But right now it’s my time!”
Selvarajah spent a large part of his early career training solely out of Premier MMA in Harrow, but since November last year decided that he needed to mix things up and is now also training at the well-known Team Titan gym under the tutelage of Micky Papas. There was a couple of factors which led to Selvarajah splitting his time between the two camps.
“One of the biggest issues with my game was my wrestling for MMA. At Premier I was one of the tops guys and needed to be pushed by different sparring partners. My head coach at Premier has a relationship with Micky and put me in touch with him. Sparring at Titan has changed my game so much and I am so much more comfortable striking because my wrestling has improved so much. It’s a real confidence booster.”
“I am being pushed every single round with the likes of Ashleigh Grimshaw, Brad Pickett, Jake Bostwick the list just goes on. When I first turned up at the gym it was a little daunting as I was the new kid nobody knew. But everyone is so friendly there and I just gelled with them all. They made me feel very welcome and part of the team. They are just a bunch of absolute killers in training but outside of the gym they are the most genuine guys.”
Wrestling is definitely an area for focus for any opponents looking to compete against current Champion Diakese, who is known for his excellent grappling skills and ability to control the fight against the cage and wear down his opponents. Whilst Diakese may on occasions receive criticism for his style, Selvarajah is of the opinion that if it isn’t broke don’t fix it.
“It’s a style and there are critics for every style. Brawler get told they are reckless, grinders get moaned at for not really fighting. But at the end of the day it is MMA and you just have to be able to adjust. You can’t fault Diakese it’s clever and smart that he takes the fight to where he can win. But he is going to find it very tough to hold me against cage.”
With the biggest fight of his career only a few weeks away aside from focusing on improving his wrestling and mixing up his training camps, Selvarajah has also been increasing his strength and conditioning training to make sure he is the very best version of himself come fight night.
“I have been doing a little more strength and conditioning training ahead of this one. I only started doing that half way through the Jefferson George camp and have noticed some big improvements. Since the last fight I have constantly been at Team Titan and can see some definite improvements over the last few months.”
The BAMMA Lightweight division is stacked with some of the very best European talent and whilst Selvarajah is solely focused on the task ahead at present I was keen to hear what other 155lbers he foresees himself stepping inside the cage with.
“You know I am always chasing a harder fight. After the Diakese fight I just want someone who is either ranked above him or is just a bigger name for me. I feel like I need to make push for my career.
“But first up I have this fight and I just want to go in and have a convincing performance. Wherever the fight goes I’ll be looking for a finish.”
Rick would like to thank “everyone at Premier MMA and Team Titan, it’s been a tough camp so far and getting tougher. I would also like to thank Balmoral House Hotel, Spiros Motor Technicians and Rydall Electric Services for all their sponsorship and to everyone who supports me.”